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Cholesterol Down to 140 with My Cooking

Florida2's picture

DH's cholesterol was at 240 and his PCP said he had four weeks to lower it or else He was going to recommend Statins. We do not trust the statins, so we took it as a big challenge.


For four weeks, we kept DH's fat intake to no more than 25G and tried to keep Sat Fats down to about 10G or less daily. We balanced each meal or snack so that it was 6G of carbs for every 4 G of protein. We eliminated all red meat and only had poultry, fish, some tofu, and no more than once a week shrimp. No candy, no cookies, no cakes, no ice cream, no cheese except a bit of parmesan sprinkled here and there,  no processed foods (except Fiber One cereal). Bread was made without butter. And oatmeal as part of the daily breakfast (With fruit, and with Fiber one for fiber)


Today he got the good news that Cholesterol is now down to 140!


So, if you are trying to lower Cholesterol by diet, go for it :)

Astrid's picture

(post #57138, reply #1 of 79)

Kudos to you both!

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
AnnL's picture

(post #57138, reply #2 of 79)

Great news!!  :-)

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Marie Louise's picture

(post #57138, reply #3 of 79)

You don't trust statins? I twisted my doctor's arm to get on them, LOL, even though I didn't really meet the criteria. They seem to be helpful in a LOT of different diseases.

Jean's picture

(post #57138, reply #5 of 79)

I'm with you. Besides this way I get to eat some cheese once in a while, and my whole lipid profile is right on target. Yea!





Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood. Mary Hirsch
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Marie Louise's picture

(post #57138, reply #7 of 79)

Here's one article on the benefits of statins (just read the first 6 or so paragraphs.) http://www.nutritionreview.org/library/statins.html

All I know is that every week in my UCSF pathophysiology class-no matter what the subject-the physician/ researcher would mention how statins decrease disease in whatever system we were talking about. Bone loss, Alzheimer's, diabetes, strokes, heart failure-you name it, statins seem to help decrease it. It has to do with their effect on the inflammmatory process (at a cellular level); it is not just about their effects on decreasing the amount of circulating cholesterol in your body. You can-and should-decrease your circulating cholesterol with diet, even if you are on statins, but the drug does so much more that that I wanted to be on it just because. (My cholesterol and LDL is a little on the high side, but my HDL is also so high that it negates it and puts me at low CV risk.)

Here's another article that's a little easier reading. It's a few years old, but you get the idea. I see that England has made statins over the counter. That's a good idea, IMO.

http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2005/122005/12312005/156865/printer_friendly


Edited 3/29/2008 10:37 am by Marie Louise

Jean's picture

(post #57138, reply #9 of 79)

Thanks for that. I feel better about taking them -- even though I didn't feel badly before.  One of my friends who prides herself on not taking any meds literally gasped when I showed her the amount of pills I took every day. (Included were the OTC vitamins and minerals)  I told her they kept me alive for the last 10+ years and hoped they would for another 10. That pretty much shut her up. Guess who's the one with early Alzheimer's signs--although there's no comfort in that. She's the second one of our group of friends walking down that lonely path.  Heartbreaking.





Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood. Mary Hirsch
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Florida2's picture

(post #57138, reply #10 of 79)

It just seemed logical to me that if we could control his Cholesterol profile with better eating habits, that it was a smarter thing to do than do Statins (which I know are important if you cannot control cholesterol with lifestyle changes).


Eating heart healthier foods and exercise can also decrease inflammation in the body. This I know from my visit to Mayo Clinic in 2004.


I did serve scallops or shrimp once a week. I might try twice a week, inch up the EVOO in my cooking, and add Parmiaggano cheese to recipes and then re-do bloodwork in a month or so and see if the cholesterol profile is still in the normal range.


We did the drastic approach the past month to see if changing his diet could impact his blood values. They certainly did!


Keeping the ratio between carbs and protein was also important. When the ratio exceeds about 2 to 1 (or 3 to 2), the body pumps out more insulin which signals the body to also manufacture cholesterol.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #57138, reply #11 of 79)

You are absolutely right. Exercise and diet are important. So is not smoking.

But so are taking certain drugs and vitamins-aspirin, extra calcium, and IMO, statins.

Both have their place. And drugs are NOT a pass to lead a sedentary lifestyle, be obese, and not ever eat right.

I work w/ stroke patients as an advanced practice nurse, and the national standard of care is to put all patients who have had a stroke on a statin, regardless of whether their LDL is normal. It helps prevent additional strokes.

And there is a growing body of literature that it decreases osteoporosis, clears cancer cells from your body, helps w/ insulin resistance, presents stokes, decreases blood pressure, prevents Alzheimer's and more. While diet and exercise are important, this drug goes beyond that. It works at a cellular level.

This my last word on the subject.


Edited 3/29/2008 11:32 am by Marie Louise

Gretchen's picture

(post #57138, reply #13 of 79)

Agree. DH got his orders to drastically change some of his habits and has done very well and has easily adapted--the alternative is just too bad. And we'll find out next week if it has continued. BUT the doctor really upped his dosage to get that stuff down quickly.
DS has taken his elevated cholesterol very seriously and eats VERY heart healthy, in addition to meds.


Gretchen
Gretchen
kathymcmo's picture

(post #57138, reply #19 of 79)

And aren't the researchers finding a protective effect against some cancers?


I keep reading more and more about the ill effects of inflammation, it's amazing.


 


Edited to add that I see you already mentioned this in your second message, sorry.


Edited 3/30/2008 12:01 am by kathymcmo

Marie Louise's picture

(post #57138, reply #22 of 79)

This cellular inflammation seems to be the cause of many diseases. There are a lot of substances that are released to kill cancer cells (tumor necrotic factor) and C-reactive protein, that also get released in other diseases-strokes, diabetes. This inflammation makes normal cells do things they shouldn't-like get insulin resistance. It has been a few years since I've read about it in depth; maybe Sally or Gary will read this thread and be able to explain it better.

The "side effect[benefit]" of statins seems to be that it decreases this inflammatory state. It does much more than just lower your cholesterol. It's like aspirin being more than a pain-killer. Somewhere along the way they figured out that it decreases platelet aggregation-so now anyone who is at risk for/ has had a stroke or heart attack takes it daily for that purpose.

Again, I am NOT saying that people should take a pill and not eat healthy. None of us should be putting gobs of saturated fat into our bloodsteams on a daily basis. And exercise causes many benefits, not the least of which is it feels good to get up & moving.

ouzo's picture

(post #57138, reply #4 of 79)

Wow.  You are awesome.  I applaud you and your DH for first trying to fix his cholesterol via diet instead of the medication route.   The fewer pills, the better.


I'd miss the cheese though....


"The best tricks are the simplest and the simplest tricks are the oldest" -Simon the owl

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

Sheri's picture

(post #57138, reply #6 of 79)

Yay! Did you ask your doctor about shrimp and scallops? Because even though they're high in cholesterol, I believe it's not the kind that raises cholesterol... so it's actually a good thing to eat (low in fat).

msm-s's picture

(post #57138, reply #8 of 79)

bravo! that's wonderful! he'll get accustomed to the change in foods and probably won't miss the bad stuff at all.

I prefer to stay off any medication that i can by simply altering my lifestyle in reasonable ways. I don't necessarily mistrust them, but one always wonders what negative things they are going to discover the longer a drug has been in use. mainly, i'm just trying to avoid the expense and number of pills to take.

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
–Jack Handey


Edited 3/29/2008 10:44 am ET by msm-s

roz's picture

(post #57138, reply #12 of 79)

Fantastic! You certainly deserved that diamond!

This proves we should all eat as if we are diabetic, have high cholesterol, and on the verge of a stroke! Exercise and move as much as we can. Now if I could only put it into practice. You and your husband are an inspiration.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Florida2's picture

(post #57138, reply #14 of 79)

Thank you Roz!


To otheres: Yes, if one cannot get their cholesterol down, Statins are definitely a great thing.


With respect to the news that Statins help with many other types of problems, my understanding is that the research done on that is correlational, -- is that correct? Or did they randomly assign osteoporotic women to two groups, matched for age, overall health, overall diet and blindly put one group on statins and another on placebo and then measure if the two groups differed after about a year?


One of the keys to lowering cholesterol is to balance protein to carb in a ratio of about 2G to 3G, or if its too hard to remember , at least 50/50. ( Low fat Cottage cheese has the perfect carb/protein ratio). When there is too much carbs compared to protein, the body pumps out extra insulin which signals the body to manufacture cholesterol. Many doctors don't know this, or know it but don't mention it. So, the patient drastically lowers fat intake but still is high on cholesterol, not realizing that a diet tipped to heavily toward carbs without the right amount of protein is the culprit, not just the amount of fat eaten. Then, they fail and end up on statins, thinking its genetic, when often it is just lack of knowledge, not genetics.


 

Jean's picture

(post #57138, reply #15 of 79)

When there is too much carbs compared to protein...


One reason why the South Beach diet is so good for you.






Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood. Mary Hirsch
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Gretchen's picture

(post #57138, reply #16 of 79)

You have a very nutritional  point which may not be appropriate for everyone. You have a very specific disease and you seem to think that whoever and whatever whoever has recommended for you is  exactly right.


IT MAY BE TRUE. It may not be true. It isn't for EVERYONE


Everyone needs to be very careful to take internet advice with the proverbial grain of salt--hence this is a cooking site.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Jean's picture

(post #57138, reply #17 of 79)

Gretchen, you are a hoot!





Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood. Mary Hirsch
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Marie Louise's picture

(post #57138, reply #18 of 79)

Yeah. God only knows where all those famous UCSF doctors who were teaching us about pathophysiology at the cellular level got their information.

Florida2's picture

(post #57138, reply #23 of 79)

Gretchen, this has nothing to do with my MS. This approach is for my husband who is completely healthy and simply needed to lower his cholesterol from 240!

MadMom's picture

(post #57138, reply #24 of 79)

The point is that this has worked for your husband.  It was prescribed by his doctor.  To expand it to suggest that it might work for everyone is not exactly being truthful.  FWIW, there have been numerous adverse reactions to statins, which have been underreported.  They are not for everyone, and shouldn't be taken "just in case".



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Florida2's picture

(post #57138, reply #25 of 79)

Actually, this diet was NOT recommended by his doctor. The doctor simply said, "Your cholesterol is 240, you have 4 weeks to get it down or we will have to start statins".


I simply read up on the problem as much as I could and put together a program I thought would help. And it did.


Many folks CANNOT lower their cholesterol no matter what they do and the Statins are then a good alternative, in my opinion.


Many folks COULD lower their cholesterol with effort, and for them, I am simply suggesting this diet that worked for my very healthy husband :)


Furthermore, Statins can have serious side effects such as problems with muscles, liver issues and depletion of Coenzyme Q. Therefore, it seems prudent to try to decrease cholesterol through what we serve on the table, before reaching for the statins. 

MadMom's picture

(post #57138, reply #26 of 79)

ITA, but people will read what they want into things posted on the internet.  Some people will read that statins can help prevent cancer and badger their doctor for them, whether they need to lower their cholesterol or not.  Let's face it, why else do drug companies spend millions of dollars on advertising, always with the suggestion that the observer "talk to your doctor" about this or that medication.  I'm glad the diet worked for your husband, and proud that you were able to get his cholesterol down.  Some people naturally have low cholesterol.  I do, regardless of my exercise or eating habits.  My DH does not, again, regardless of his exercise or eating habits.  One size does not fit all.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Florida2's picture

(post #57138, reply #27 of 79)

Gretchen, do you have something against me? I frequently get irritable posts from you, and like this one, they are a misreading of my original post (i.e. you assumed I was talking about my MS although my posts clearly state this is for my husband--it says nothing about it being for me or for my disease). Did I do something to tick you off? If so, please let me know and we can clear the air.

Gretchen's picture

(post #57138, reply #28 of 79)

No, it is the blanket statements that sometimes seem to creep into your posts, whether for your husband or for you. Statins are bad. Diet will cure MS. Said in such a way that there isn't much wiggle room.


To drop 100 points in a month is phenomenal, NO doubt about it. Downright amazing, I'd say.  I'd be interested to know from your doctor if he has EVER seen that!! And obviously, your husband may not need statins at all. That is terrific. My husband DOES need them, even with an adjustment in diet. In one of the sites you posted there was the statement that when a patient is "at risk" (as my DH is) then every effort is taken to remove risk factors. Those were our doctor's EXACT words to DH. So we stop putting the fats in, and we also take meds that further reduce the risk factors that have been shown as being possible.
Of course, some drugs have adverse effects on certain patients. That is why they do blood tests and watch for them. They are "drugs" and not without risk in and of themselves. 


I am going to post an interesting article from our paper this week.


http://www.charlotte.com/162/story/551418.html


Gretchen


Edited 3/30/2008 12:46 pm ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
Florida2's picture

(post #57138, reply #30 of 79)

Thank you for your reply.


No, I do not think Diet will cure my MS, I do think it will help keep me well in terms of the rest of my body and that MS will do what it wants to do. Sadly, there is no cure for it, but like many illnesses, it can be managed and keeping the rest of the body well will keep me better able to deal with what MS does.


If you re read my posts, you will see that I do not think Statins are "bad" (but that they have side effects and that's why me and husband were hoping to avoid them) and that I DO think they are necessary for people who have high cholesterol! The intent of my thread was to simply lay out what has helped my husband with his cholesterol, because it might help others (and because I was rightly or wrongly, proud of how my efforts helped him), not because I think this will help all folks with bad cholesterol levels.


As an aside, statins are being researched as a helpful tool in controlling MS which is an inflammatory disease (like so manY). I am leery of the side effects, but recognize that they are a powerful tool in the medical doctors approach to many diseases.


Maybe the limitations of my style of writing, and the lack of nonverbal gestures makes me come across to you as more forceful and black and white than I actually am! I live in the grey zones!


Edited to add: Thanks for your local paper's very nice article on the woman with MS. She is on copaxone which, I think, seems to help many patients.I am no longer injecting interferon for my MS, since Mayo told me to stop treating it and just keep swimming and eating right.  I do not miss injecting myself, that's for sure, with a one and a half inch needle. So far, I havnet had a relapse, but with MS, you never know when the guillotine will fall!


 


Edited 3/30/2008 3:09 pm ET by Florida2

jean1107's picture

(post #57138, reply #56 of 79)

I can't thank you enough for the information about protein to carb ratio.  My father was diabetic and I don't believe anyone told him this, not his dietician, not his endocronolgist (sp?), not his internist, not his GP.  And my doctor certainly hasn't told me.  I see him next week and I will have this printed out, in hand, when we talk!  Thank you!!!

wisekaren's picture

(post #57138, reply #20 of 79)

Wow, good for you (BOTH of you)! I recall that Mean Chef had amazing results by also adding cinnamon to his diet -- you can probably find that thread here somewhere.
Karen

Gretchen's picture

(post #57138, reply #21 of 79)

DH is doing that also. It is a pretty well documented "remedy", and is certainly innocuous enough.

Gretchen

Gretchen